In case you had not noticed, America is getting older. And while that might cause alarm for some people, for freelance writers, it is time to dance a jig. Why? Because with the so-called “graying of America,” the opportunity to write for health markets has “exploded, and reached an all time high.” And it will continue to grow and grow and grow…
Here are 5 tips to keep in mind when writing for the health markets:
- Find the latest health and fitness news. Think like an editor, who is always trying to think like a reader. What is happening in the world of health and fitness, and why is it newsworthy? Find a timely topic in the health world, and you are one step closer to landing an assignment. There are thousands of websites that are devoted to health and fitness information. A good place to start is the Federal Government’s own site, the National Institutes of Health. Visit them at http://www.nih.gov and you’ll find every health topic and late breaking bulletin there is. Another good source for health, fitness, and even science news is USA Today. Each day they have several columns devoted to highlights; check them out, and see what you are interested in.
- Target your audience. Know the audience of the magazine, newsletter or website, and your job as a health writer will be a lot easier. For example, does this publication like to include a lot of statistics and facts, or is it looking for more of the “human side” of the story? Read back issues, study the writers guidelines, and you’ll do fine.
- Know where to find statistics and facts. As a freelance health writer, you need to know how to research the basic health facts and statistics. Compile a list of reference books, directories (including online sources) and other health materials. A good place to start is a local university or college library. Or better yet, check with your local hospital; many times they will have a health library that is open to the public. You won’t find a better source of reference materials anywhere.
- Know where to get good quotes from doctors. If you have not yet visited www.profnet.com, then take a few moments and do so. It has the world’s largest group of “experts” in every field, and they are just waiting to answer your questions. Need a quote from a dentist? Go to profnet; need a quote from a heart surgeon? Go to Profnet.
- Don’t write like a doctor. Unless you are a doctor, that is. But even if you are a doctor, remember that you are writing for a general consumer market (unless you are writing for a medical journal!). Don’t use 18 letter words when shorter ones will work just as well. Read other general consumer health materials as a guide.
8 Health Markets To Explore
Focus is on wellness topics; contact info on Website.
Pays $1.00 to $1.50 per word.
Hearing Health Magazine
Covers issues dealing with hearing and hearing loss.
Pays flexible rates.
Muscle & Fitness
Looking for articles on exercise and fitness.
Pays an average of $1.00 per word.
Diabetes Self Management
Pays varying rates; offers kill fee.
Always looking for health article ideas.
Pays varying rates.
This site has one of the largest collection of health articles, and they are always looking for more.
Pays an average of $1.00 per word.
Vim & Vigor Magazine
This health publication is 90% freelance written, and pays varying rates.
Always looking for new article ideas about ADD.
John Riddle is a freelance writer and author from Bear, Delaware. His byline has appeared in major newspapers, magazines, Web sites and trade journals all across the country. He is the author of 34 books, including a few health and medical titles, and has worked as a ghostwriter on numerous projects. John is also the Founder of I Love To Write Day, a grassroots campaign he launched in 2002 to have people of all ages practice writing every November 15. Last year over 25,000 schools all across the United States held special I Love To Write Day events and activities. He is a frequent speaker at both Christian and secular writing conferences, and recently appeared at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. You can learn more about John by visiting www.ilovetowriteday.org.